On the surface it looks like a huge party consisting of the classic elements of drugs, booze, and rock n’ roll, but organizers say the 420 Music & Arts Fest is actually a crucial step towards reversing the cloying stigma surrounding cannabis culture. Along with an assortment of metal bands and alcohol vendors, 420 Music & Arts Fest will feature cannabis-inspired arts and crafts and information from medicinal cannabis organizations.
“We wanted to bring together as many people as we could in an attempt to get rid of all the stereotypes that not only surround what you would call ‘stoner rock’ or ‘stoner metal,’ but the ones that begin to affiliate themselves with cannabis in general,” says festival coordinator CC Getty. “It’s not just all ‘party party party,’ there are some natural health benefits in there as well. The main thing really was to bring together people that share a common interest in something and to try to get rid of that negative stereotype that people are a certain way just because they listen to one kind of music or are into something.”
Each night will feature a band that would normally headline a show Calgary, such as Alberta natives Black Mastiff, Vancouver’s ANCIIENTS, and Texas-based legends WO FAT, who will be making their Canadian premiere.
“We’re pretty excited that the first time they’re coming up here is for this event. Who knows how many offers they’ve had to play in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, or somewhere else. It’s really cool of them to do that,” says Getty.
Along with the amazing music, attendees will be able to purchase unique, local cannabis-themed products at the 420 Expo on Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Artists and artisans will include Calgary’s first ever hemp shop Hemporium, 420 lifestyle retailer Weed Girls Canada, SKUNK Magazine, and organic catnip company Pussy Kush. Educational resources will also be on site, namely Calgary’s 420 Clinic and NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). And your stomach need not fear, as Distortion has made room for a collection of Southern Alberta’s finest food trucks for the entirety of the festival.
Tickets are available online and via the event Facebook page store. They are also available in-person at Distortion (3828 Macleod Trail S, Calgary, AB), Sloth Records (736B 17th Avenue S.W., Calgary, AB), and The Soundhouse (4921 48st Red Deer, AB) .
Please note that Distortion is an 18+ environment.
Written by Amelia Bowes.